The latest AMDGPU drivers launched from AMD only a few short days ago bringing changes like FreeSync support and additional support for mobile chipsets as well as the obvious performance improvements.
Like the previous versions of the proprietary AMDGPU driver, only “Enterprise Grade” distributions are supported, so you won’t find official Ubuntu 16.10 support just yet. Ubuntu 16.04 is continuing to be supported, and that will be the target of this guide.
Getting The Packages
AMD has provided the packages required for the install in a tarball. The reason for a tarball of
.deb packages instead of the
.run installer of previous AMD drivers is that AMDGPU-PRO functions by providing its own custom versions of key pieces of software needed for the drivers to function properly.
AMDGPU-PRO is build ton the open source AMDGPU drivers, and just like those drivers, requires newer versions of Mesa, DRM, and the Kernel. To ensure that these requirements are met, they are provided.
You can get the tarball one of two ways. If you prefer to use your browser, go to AMD’s website and download the drivers and untar them with your graphical archive manager of choice.
If you’d prefer to use the command line,
wget the package directly and untar it from the command line.
$ cd ~/Downloads $ wget https://www2.ati.com/drivers/linux/ubuntu/amdgpu-pro-16.50-362463.tar.xz $ tar -xJvf amdgpu-pro_16.50-362463.tar.xz
Installing The Packages
No matter which way you used to untar the packages, you should use the command line for the installation. Start off by changing to the directory that was unpacked.
$ cd amdgpu-pro-16.50-362463
If you look in the directory, you’ll see there are a ton of packages. It would be awful to have to install them all manually. Thankfully, AMD has provided a convenient installer script in the folder. Since this is a package install, you can either specify
sudo when you launch the script or wait to be prompted by the script itself. Either way, you will have to enter your password.
$ ./amdgpu-pro-install -y
-y signifies that you wish to answer “Yes” to each prompt. If you would like to see the prompts, leave it off.
The script will run through and install all of the packages on your system. It will take a few minutes, but everything required to run the new drivers will be installed on your system.
When that’s done, restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
Testing It Out
After the restart, you can, of course, test out your new drivers by playing a game, but that’s not the most reliable way to test. The best way to benchmark on Linux right now is the Phoronix Test Suite. The latest version comes prepackaged for Ubuntu, so you can
wget that right from the developer’s website.
$ cd ~/Downloads $ wget http://phoronix-test-suite.com/releases/repo/pts.debian/files/phoronix-test-suite_6.8.0_all.deb $ sudo dpkg -i phoronix-test-suite_6.8.0_all.deb
Once the package is done installing it will be ready to run. There is a graphical interface for it, but it’s much easier to just use the command line. The Unigine benchmarks are made available through the Phoronix Test Suite, and they are among the best graphical benchmarks on any platform. Running them is simple with the test suite.
$ phoronix-test-suite run unigine-heaven
You will be prompted with a terms of service followed by a question asking if you would like to send anonymous data. Answer how you’d like. It will then ask you if you want to install the benchmark. You may get an error after the download is finished. Don’t worry about it. Just run the above command again.
This time, you will be asked what screen resolution you want the test to run at. Select yours. The test will run the benchmark three times and present you with the average frames-per-second of each test afterward. You will be able to see the tests run, so you’ll have a general idea if the card is working properly.
It’s hard to say exactly what framerates you should be getting with your card, but you can look up other benchmarks online to compare. Obviously, if you are getting only a couple of frames-per-second, something is wrong. It is also important to remember that CPUs do impact framerates. Keep that in mind when comparing benchmarks.
That’s really all that there is to it. If you are running Ubuntu 16.04 and have a newer AMD GPU, you should have no problem taking advantage of these drivers. Make sure that your GPU is supported before getting started.